THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG REVIEW

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The desolation of the competition so far.

A visual cinematic feast for the eyes. Jackson unleashes a beast of a blockbuster. They’ve done it again darker and moodier than ever.

Brilliant storytelling, a great cast and breath-taking visual effects. Film of the year? Saving the best ‘til last? If we got anything to go by with the films this month then definitely.

Now I haven’t read the Hobbit (What?!). However, I was familiar with the original LOTR trilogy and found Jackson faithful in his adaptation. There does appear to be a divide in the critical reception of the Hobbit trilogy. Some found An Unexpected Journey inconsequential. Personally I enjoyed it and saw it as a great indicator of things to come.

Jackson expanded the story and enabled a bigger exploration of the mythology of the Tolkien universe on a much more extravagant scale. From speaking with fans of the book, this installment remarkably remains very faithful, complimenting the source material.

The film carries on from the last with the company being pursued by Orcs. The ring is already starting to take a hold on Bilbo and Gandalf is forced to do some investigating at Dol Guldur.

The cast are back and in fine form. Not to mention some additional characters to the ever-expanding line up and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Hitchcockian cameo from Peter Jackson. The return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, provided an extra story line which broke up the action. His exchange with Gloin delivered a perfect in-joke for any LOTR fan.

Martin Freeman’s mannerisms and traits were spot on yet again. We were also introduced to a new character Tauriel played by the stunning Evangeline Lilly, who soon becomes embroiled in a love triangle between Kili and Legolas (Yes, Lost fans. Kate is at it again).

Others have found Jackson’s new method of 48 frames per second manic, and at times, nauseating. Undermining the animation and making it appear cartoony. I didn’t find this to be the case. If anything it helped differentiate the trilogy and bring forth a new cinematic style.

The barrel escape was a fantastically riveting and brilliantly executed sequence. This film made me regret the decision to see this in 2D. The special effects and detail on Smaug (performed with perfection by Cumberbatch) was incredible. The minutiae was superb. The golden coins falling like rain off the monster’s metallic skin.

Despite being breathtaking, funny and suspenseful, the pace did test me. And I’m not surprised at a whopping 2 hours 40 minutes. Is there a rule that every LOTR film has to be three hours or something?

I was a little disappointed that more wasn’t made out of the dwarf company. When they were allowed to shine, they delivered. I know it’s difficult with such a big cast BUT the majority of them were either pushed into the background or forgotten about altogether.

Apart from that, an astounding piece of work. I was baffled when I first heard that The Hobbit would be made into a trilogy. I remember ranting about the money hungry production companies for trying to milk a great piece of fiction from a great author. BUT now I cannot wait to see what Jackson has in store for the third and final installment.

4/5

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14 thoughts on “THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG REVIEW

  1. As a movie it was entertaining and good fun. But as an adaption it was a big f*** you to one of literature’s greatest. Lord of the rings at least kept as much as they could, this just blatantly took creative control and ran riot. Of course people who haven’t read any tolkien will go “ya but I heard they went outside the books too”. Ya they did, and even that they got mostly wrong.

    1. Yikes. Fair enough. As a film I was just surprised that it was entertaining after so many god awful ones this year. I’ve felt that barely any adaptations from book to film surpass the original material. At least LOTR did give it a go. I was thoroughly disappointed with the Harry Potter franchise and a lot of the adaptations of Tom Clancy and John le Carre novels. (Hardly great works of literature by any standards). I’m definitely going to have to read the Hobbit now. Guess I didn’t want to be disappointed with yet another adaptation.

  2. Ya Harry Potter could have been done much better too. If I was a greater fan of it Id hate it more. Unfortunately Tolkien is my world and I just hate to see it being ripped on. At least it was entertaining

    1. Totally understand where you’re coming from. Same thing with remakes of my favourite movies. Ones that didn’t need to be touched. I hate what they did with the James Patterson books, more specifically the Alex Cross franchise. Only thing they did get right was Morgan Freeman.

  3. Glad you see where I come from, probably came across very bitchy at first. The whole thing was too fresh in my mind. I guess I can only hope the third one swings back to Tolkien, and gives me a better after taste for my scrutinising palette

    1. No worries. Everyone’s got a right to an opinion. You should see the rant I did for Oldboy. If anyone had said that was the best film ever just after I saw it that night, I would have gone mental haha. Fingers crossed for the third bud!

  4. I thought the book was pretty underwhelming, this second film was a lot better. The orcs aren’t in the book but they do inspire a greater sense of peril and give a route for speeding the story along (as it can be extremely slow!!). The book does have some serious pacing issues so I have no issues with going outside the material a bit

  5. I didn’t mind this as much as I minded the first, however, it still wasn’t all that good either. There’s still room of improvement left by Jackson and I feel like, eventually, he’ll get back to his old ways. Hopefully by then, the last installment is up and ready to go. Good review.

  6. Great review, I had a brilliant time watching this film 😀

    Its still a bit too long but if I had to stay in any imaginary world middle earth isn’t too bad ;D

    Smaug stole the show and I am glad he did, great visuals and just an all over better film than the first hobbit, hope the trend continues into part 3 😀

    1. Thank you sir! Haha some say Hollywood are milking it a bit but it’s one world that hasn’t overstayed it’s welcome for me . . . yet and I love going back to it. Smaug was incredible! Bring on part 3!

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